When we took OCZ’s Vertex 3 SSD for a spin last month, there was no other way to sum up our thoughts than ‘blown-away’. How could such a drive get even better? With tweaked firmware and a doubling-up of NAND chips, of course. Let’s take a look at the Vertex 3 Max IOPS edition and see if its price premium is justified.
Since we included a program designed to benchmark SSDs, we will include HD Tune as it benchmarks both hard disks and SSDs. Because the test drive houses the OS itself, HD Tune will not perform any write tests; we will have to be content with both the Read and Access times. HD Tune 4.6 added a new quick benchmark that we will include for users that wish to make a quick comparison with their own drives.
Our theory that the Max IOPS offering stronger read performance at the expense of a little write performance appears to be further verified here. The Max IOPS delivers much stronger read performance across the board, but is just barely edged out by the V3 in the random transfer test. Access times remain unchanged between each drive.
Part of what gives SSDs their mojo are in fact the access times. It requires 14.1ms for a typical HDD to service a 64KB read request. Almost any SSD can do the same in 0.1ms, giving the system 14 milliseconds to process and deliver the data to the end user. When requests start stacking up, such a small difference literally becomes exponential.